This story was contributed by Walter Zeisl of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
LOS ANGELES — Demonstrating grace under pressure, lightning quick reflexes and an outstanding grasp of advanced science, math and technology concepts, Harvard Westlake School Team B won the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) annual Science Bowl Regional Competition held today in downtown Los Angeles. This is Harvard-Westlake's first regional title.
As the regional champion, team members each receive the $1,000 Hitachi Scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. April 24 to 28 to represent the city of Los Angeles and compete at the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl. The trip is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Harvard-Westlake School Team B will compete in a field of 70 regional high school championship teams from 40 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A total of 10 teams from California will participate.
Previous LADWP regional winning teams have some of the best records at the National Science Bowl, having captured four national titles and placed among the top five teams 11 times.
North Hollywood High School Team A, last year's winner and a holder of 15 regional titles and one national championship, also gave an impressive performance in placing second. The third place winner was Harvard-Westlake School Team A, while Palisades Charter High School placed fourth.
Students also showed engineering skill and problem solving abilities in the special Water and Power Community Credit Union Hands-On Competition. This year’s competition involved constructing and racing a small model "rocket car." Teams built their vehicles out of materials that included balloons, straws, and rubber bands.
Hamilton High School, in West Los Angeles was the recipient of the first place Franklin Lu Hands-On Trophy, presented in memory of the late LADWP engineer and Science Bowl volunteer. This was Hamilton High School's first award at the LADWP Science Bowl. Team members received a $250 scholarship. The second place scholarship award was presented to Milken Community High School. Third and fourth place scholarships were awarded to Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School Team B and Wilson High School, respectively. The Water and Power Community Credit Union sponsored all the scholarships in the hands-on competition this year.
Science Bowl is a proud LADWP tradition and excellent example of the Department's commitment to the Los Angeles educational community. Each year, the LADWP Science Bowl tests the region's sharpest students' reflexes, teamwork skills and knowledge in a fun competitive atmosphere using a television game show format that involves toss-up and bonus questions, buzzers and timed responses.
In addition to LADWP, sponsors for this year’s Science Bowl included, the Hitachi Southern California Regional Community Action Committee, the Hitachi Foundation, the Water and Power Community Credit Union, IEEE's Power Engineering Society Metro LA Chapter, IEEE's Industrial Applications Society Metro LA Chapter, Gelson's Markets, Office Depot, the Los Angeles Unified School District, LA CityView Channel 35 and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The event was also made possible through the efforts of 100 volunteers comprised mainly of LADWP employees, their famililes, and past Science Bowl participants from the LADWP Science Bowl and other regions.
The National Science Bowl is among the nation's largest high school science-based academic competition and the only one sponsored by a federal agency. Since it's inception in 1991 more than 225,000 students have participated in the program. The national sponsor is the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science.
LADWP is one of only a few utilities in the nation to serve as a coordinating regional science bowl sponsor and host. The LADWP is the nation’s largest municipally-owned utility in the nation with 1.4 million electric customers customers.